"Oreos for college students," my roommate called them. It broke my heart. Unlike a lot of kids that grew up in the eighties, I was raised on Hydrox cookies, not the more expensive, more popular, imitation sandwich cookie that my friends ate. I saw Oreo TV commercials, T-shirts, and billboards all over the city I lived in. It raised my curiosity, but Dad would never allow Oreo's in his house... we were Hydrox people. Years later I would understand my Dad's defensiveness. I am even the same way.
I think I tasted real Oreo cookies at a friend's house when I was ten or twelve. I thought nothing of it at first... they looked just like Hydrox cookies, I figured they were ingested the same way. I did just as my friend did; we twisted apart the two chocolate layers and licked the icing out of the middle first because the icing was the best part, everyone knew that. And it tasted as good, if not better, than the cookies I was raised on. Then we put the chocolate layers back together and shoved them into our sweetened mouths. That's when I realized that I was not eating Hydrox cookies. Whoever made what I was eating had no concept of outer layers. Those precious crunchy deserts to the interior icing did nothing to live up to their sugary white predecessor. My opinion was simple: an Oreo was only half a cookie. Dipped in milk, it was tolerable; the dryness of it went away. But I still couldn't taste the chocolate. That was something only a Hydrox had.
I refused Oreos for some time after that. Even when Double Stuff Oreos came out, I felt I was the only one who knew the truth. Oreo was covering up their lack of outside cookie by adding more frosting. Of course they sold well, they were the first good ones. I still stuck to Hydrox, though, the cookie that could satisfy me with the same amount of frosting it had always had. I think that's when I started getting in trouble. I was accused of being cheap, foolish, even a communist. How could a real American not like Oreo Cookies? The thing that really makes me mad is that people didn't believe me when I said Hydrox cookies were better. I offered them one, they ate it, and stood by their original, brainwashed conclusion that Oreo's were the only real cookie out there.
I went to the grocery store one day this summer and I couldn't find the Hydrox anywhere. Then I saw Droxies. I'm not really sure if they're supposed to be a replacement or what, after all, Droxies are made by Keebler and Hydrox were made by Sunshine. Either way, they don't taste the same and I'm pretty peeved about the situation. I use it as my reason to be angry at America. We're so brainwashed as kids into thinking certain things are classic and they way the world was meant to be that we consider anything else a sin. We're products of Always Coca-Cola marketing campaigns and 100 Billion Burgers Served under McDonald's golden arches. My Hydrox upbringing has made me a skeptic of everything we hold dear. I feel like those commercials for Nike and The Gap are for conformists, not me; I'm better than all of it. I've vowed never to live under one brand name. There may be something more worthwhile than what everyone else has, and I'm going to support it.
This article was originally published on my website in the fall of 2000... Droxies were taken off the shelves a couple years later. I'm now a 28-year-old electrical engineer in Wichita, Kansas, and HYDROX COOKIES ARE COMING BACK!